If you are a Harry Potter fan, or just a book lover, Livraria Lello is the place to visit. This bookstore has inspired many authors since its opening in 1906, one of them being bestseller J.K. Rolling. The enchanting store really does look like it belongs at Hogwarts! Two years ago, when I first went, I was able to enter for free (though there was only one day a week that costumers were allowed to take pictures). Since then, to minimize the traffic in the small boutique, there is a fee to enter. For 3 euros you can visit the shop for as long as you like, take as many pictures, and discover the many novels. If you do purchase a book, the 3 euros is deducted from its price.
Taking a stroll in the Jardin do Palácio de Cristal (Garden of the Crystal Palace) you will enjoy the beautiful view of the Douro River. You will also be able to spot many peacocks. Either hidden in trees or wooing a peahen, peacocks are very common in this park.
Another park worth visiting is Parque de Cidade which is located on an avenue leading straight to the coast. If you stop by on your way to the beach, it’s a perfect place for a picnic.
If you’re feeling lazy one day, but still want to see the beautiful landscape around the city, you have the option to take a Porto Cruz, “Tomaz do Douro.” This trip includes a train ticket to Regua, the boat ride back to the harbour in Porto, appetizers with Porto wine tasting, and a three course meal. The wine was very strong, its tastes—to my personal opinion—more like a shooter. You can have three professional pictures taken onboard which can be purchased for 15 euros (or 6 euros each).
Depending on the day you choose, the trip may vary (you can also start with the boat trip and end with the train ride), as well as the price. We did the Porto Cruz on a Monday, and so the trip was a little cheaper than it would have been on the weekend, costing only 60 euros for the day. It was worth it in the end to be able to enjoy the sun and the views by the river.